Tyson Fury has prompted a stinging social media reaction from Lennox Lewis after branding Britain's former world heavyweight champion a "has-been".
The 27-year-old Mancunian takes on reigning WBO, WBA Super and IBF king Wladimir Klitschko live on Sky Sports Box Office on October 24and has been critical of the legacy built by the Ukrainian and his brother Vitali – a former Lewis victim.
And Fury – who says he will become Britain's best-ever fighter – did not spare his compatriot in an interview reported on boxingnewsonline.net.
Fury's father, John, had admitted: "A 27-year-old Lewis would have been very hard to beat. Even though he hates us. I don't know why he hates us."
That prompted Fury to add: "Tell you why he hates us. Because he's a has-been, he's old and he envies other fighters who are active. Has been a fighter, has been a champion, has been in the public eye, has been successful."
Lewis, who won the Olympic gold medal for Canada in Seoul in 1988 before conquering the world of professional boxing, was quick to hit back via social media.
The 50-year-old said: "Jealous of what? Olympic goal medal. British champ. Commonwealth champ. World champion. Undisputed champ. Hall of fame."
Lewis then uploaded a video of a Fury interview from yesteryear tagged 'How quickly we forget #Reminder' in which the 6'9" challenger said: "I aim to be like Lennox Lewis. He's my newest boxing hero in heavyweight boxing. Since Lennox Lewis, there's been nobody has there? All his fights, he got better every time and when he got beat he came back and defeated the guy."
Even before his latest verbal fracas with Lewis, Fury has been revelling in his snowballing exposure – launching several scathing attacks on Wladimir Klitschko in the opening press events.